The Madras High Court on Monday took strong objections to the violent incidents in Tamil Nadu’s Kallakurichi district on Sunday and directed the state police chief to constitute an SIT to identify the rioters and take stern action against them.
Appropriate criminal action should be taken against them following the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe, Justice N Sathish Kumar said.
Protests against the death of a class 12 girl student of a private school in Kallakurichi on Sunday turned violent, witnessing arson while some police personnel sustained injuries.
The police should control such incidents with an iron hand and take stringent action against the rioters, the judge said while passing interim orders on writ petitions from P Ramalingam, the father of the deceased girl.
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Granting one plea of the petitioner, the judge ordered a re-post-mortem on the girl’s body. The other plea was to order the transfer of the case to the CB-CID.
State Public Prosecutor Mohammed Hasan Jinnah told the judge the state government had already transferred the case to the probe agency. The investigation was going on and several persons had been arrested, he added.
The judge said the post-mortem should be conducted by a team of three doctors to be appointed by him and it must be video graphed. If he wants, the girl’s father can also be allowed along with his counsel, the judge added.
A visibly angry judge, who watched the violent incidents on TV on Sunday, wondered how the rioters staged such violent incidents. Can the rioters compensate for the damages caused to property, both private and government, even if doctors from AIIMS in New Delhi conducted the post-mortem and arrived at a conclusion that there was no foul play, the judge retorted when the petitioner’s counsel said there was material regarding suspicion into the death of the girl, who allegedly died by suicide.
Tamil Nadu is a peaceful state, but the rioters spoiled the name, the judge said and directed the police to identify them and take stern action against them. It was chaos. It was as if there was total lawlessness, the judge added and directed the Director General of Police (DGP) to form a special investigation team to identify the rioters and take stern action against them. A status report must be filed on July 29, the court said. Lambasting social media groups that fomented violence, the judge directed the police to take severe action against those who undertook a parallel trial on social media.
Whenever a death occurs in educational institutions, the investigation into the same should be done by the CB-CID and the post-mortem conducted by a team of three doctors, the judge said.
”The court has all sympathies for the girl’s parents, but for that, you can’t put the lives of so many others at risk”, the judge said and directed the counsel to advise them to accept their daughter’s body after re-post-mortem and conduct the funeral rites peacefully. The 17-year-old girl, studying Class 12 in a private residential school in Chinnasalem’s Kaniyamoor area in Kallakurichi, was found dead on July 13 on the hostel premises. Kallakurichi is about 260 km from here.
The girl, an inmate of a room on the third floor of the hostel was suspected to have ended her life by jumping to the ground from the top floor.
Reportedly, a postmortem report indicated that she had sustained injuries before her death. Police registered a case and initiated a probe.